News | May 14, 2020 | Arora
Employee Spotlight: Bryan Baker, Fire/Life Safety Designer
1. How did you come to do what you do? Was this a lifelong goal?
I was at a college fair my senior year of high school looking for computer programming degrees at the different colleges there when someone from University of New Haven waved me over to his table. He saw my fire department shirt and stated that their university had degrees dealing with fire. I obviously wasn’t attending the fair looking for fire degrees but I took the degree flyers he was holding up and dropped them into my bag. Later that night, I was going over all the degree flyers I had picked up that day and reviewing each one when I started researching these fire degrees New Haven offered. I had never heard of degrees in fire protection engineering in the fire service, but once I discovered them, the combination of my passion for firefighting and the engineering discipline, it was a perfect match for my career path.
I attended Delaware Technical Community College that fall and graduated a few years later with my Associates degree. I began working for a sprinkler and fire alarm contractor for several years but was constantly pushed by my fellow designers to I continue my formal education for a bachelor’s degree and move to the engineering level of fire protection design. At the end of 2019, I completed my bachelor’s degree in Fire Protection and Safety Engineering Technology.
2. What do you enjoy most about your job? What motivates you?
I enjoy most about my job is being able to see parts of society that the public never gets to see. This could be the inside of a power generating plant, the assembly line of a bread factory, or the airside of an airport with airplanes right next to you.
My motivation each day is the importance of engineering especially fire protection engineering. There are many disasters each day in the world where there was failure to keep the public safe where good engineering could have prevented it. Fire protection and life safety aren’t daily thoughts of the average person until a disaster occurs. I draw my motivation each day to ensure the public and building occupants will be safe and can go about their daily lives never worrying about their safety in the built environment.
3. What makes you a unique, successful employee?
I believe their no greater trait of a successful employee than passionate for what he or she does. I am very passionate about my work each and everyday to ensure I am creating quality designs. Even after working all week, I love to read books and articles on fire protection engineering when I’m home.
4. What are some of the challenges you face day-to-day?
A challenge I face daily is the respect for the value of fire protection engineering and how it is important on every project. There is a lot of education that is needed in the construction industry to rise the awareness of fire protection engineering discipline and how it can enhance each project.
5. What are your favorite types of projects to work on?
I enjoy projects where there are high fire hazards or risks so the fire protection design plays a larger role in the overall project’s design. These project’s designs must incorporate more complex systems to mitigate the hazards. Examples of these kind of project include chemical plants, military facilities, and refineries.
6. What are your career goals?
My career goals are to obtain my engineering in training (EIT) certification in 2020 then eventually obtaining my professional engineer (PE) license once I meet the required number of experience years.
7. What do you like to do for fun?
I like volunteer as a firefighter/EMT in my community which I considered fun. Outside of that I like to go fishing, whitewater rafting on Class V rapids, kayaking, and hiking.